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About acwmom

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Northern KY
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    photography, craft beer
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  1. Depending on which line you're traveling, you may be able to drop them off at the ship, and they will look after them for you. Robin
  2. All of the above, and maybe even go for a dip in the pool. We would always go to the bar and have a few drinks and listen to the musicians. Pasta may be a little harder to have consistently, but if you do other starches, like rice or baked potato, you should be fine. Chicken is a standard "always available" option on every line whose menu I have seen, and certain soups and salads also seem to be "always available" options. I would recommend emailing Ama in advance (or working with your TA, if you're using one), and seeing if you can set up a meeting with the restaurant manager and head chef to discuss your limitations at the start of your cruise. They often shop locally, so could find things to meet your needs. It varied from day to day. Our first day, in Breisach, we went to Freiberg in the morning, and had a choice of Colmar or Kaysersberg/Riquewihr in the afternoon. Our next day, morning in Strasbourg, and optional trip somewhere i the afternoon, or Strasbourg on your own; other days were similar. Honestly, the days are pretty full with excursions, exploring on your own, or scenic sailing. Uniworld has books and board games. Both Uniworld and Avalon have done wine tastings. We walked about 10 miles a day, so were content to spend time at the bar and head to bed around 11/11:30. This can also vary, depending on which port it is, and what the lock schedules are. If not close to docking (this can vary with this itinerary) then at least somewhere during your "free time" Hi AF-1, another queen city resident here:-) See my answers, in red, above. I've not traveled on Ama, but have done the Rhine itinerary. Robin
  3. In most cases, yes, we change between tours and dinner. Occasionally, we didn’t have time. On our most recent Paris-Normandy Cruise, we had signed up for the limited seating dinner the same day that we went to Mont St Michel. We were late getting back to the ship, and our butler met us at the door and told us they were waiting to start the dinner, due to our later than expected arrival. I explained that I really should change, and he reassured me that I was fine:) Since Uniworld has arrive whenever you want dinner, you should have plenty of time to change and freshen up, if needed. Also, Uniworld does have self-service laundry on the Countess, so you can get away with packing a little lighter and doing some laundry onboard (if you want) Robin
  4. JP has already answered, but I’ll confirm. Yes, someone will take your bags onboard. It may even be the captain:). with regard to attire, if you’re a Capri type, you may want to pack a pair. It was warmer than expected when we went. Robin
  5. Lois, I love your enthusiasm😁 Enjoy!!!! Make sure you eat al fresco on a cruising night, it is one of our favorite memories from that cruise. Robin
  6. Perhaps it is dependent on the city. We left from Vienna, and the ship's location wasn't "in town," so to speak. But, they were very explicit in their directions to us (we had been in Europe 3 days already) to not go directly to the ship.
  7. Roz, I agree about your assessment re: Uniworld, and am also looking at other lines. With regard to boarding Avalon, my one experience with embarkation (and what I've read others reporting) is that Avalon arranges a meeting at a local hotel, with luggage drop-off and check-in. This is usually early in the day, with the hope that everyone will have "checked in and dropped off" by 1pm? The luggage is then delivered to the ship from the hotel, and then to the stateroom. Passengers meet at the hotel at a later time, and are transported to the ship, as a group. This process may be different depending on the point of embarkation, but may explain why there was no one to assist with suitcases (since the above poster had been in Amsterdam, doing DIY "stuff") Robin
  8. Why not buy a Skyroam unit outright? Or, which cellular provider do you use? T-mobile has free service in Europe, according to others who have posted in the past. We have AT&T, and for the same daily price as a mobile hotspot, can have text/talk/data. Robin
  9. Another fine choice, and since I've done it twice, have covered nearly all excursions😁 Paris is definitely a favorite for us. Robin
  10. So excited for you, Lois! I just looked at the cruise companion, and it looks like the private night time tour of St. Mark's is still on the itinerary. We arrived via water taxi, after traveling through the Grand Canal....such a special night, and a definite highlight! (in fact, my current profile picture was taken on the water taxi) Our itinerary was quite different than yours, as we did this the inaugural season. We also enjoyed Chioggia, and were there on "market day." My captain "friend" posted pics of the Countess on Instagram last week, and she looks as good as new on the outside. Enjoy! Robin
  11. I think the main dining room will remain come at any time. It's one aspect of Uniworld we really like. We had to make reservations for the special dinner on the JDV, so I can see suites maybe getting advance notice for something like that. Venues #3 and 4 may also be limited hour venues, like on their other ships. (The Bistro being more a lunch/afternoon offering, IIRC) There was also an added cost venue, maybe that could be a complimentary offering to a suite passenger......or not:-)
  12. These ships currently have 4 suites. I honestly can't see them adding more than 2 additional. The unique thing about these four ships is that they are "multi-level" and only the top level has french balconies. There are currently 18 french balconies, and if they take away say, 4 to make suites, then that takes the number of balconies down to 14. With regard to increasing to four restaurants, that will be interesting as well, again, due to the multi-level nature of their builds. The River Countess (soon to be SS Venezia) already has the Osteria as a second restaurant. I'm sure they will take part of the lounge for a bistro-type restaurant. But not sure where the 4th would go. Since Uniworld is come when you want dining, I don't know that a "first for dinner" would be considered a "privilege". Excursion preference, yes. When we were treated with a suite last year, we very much liked the ability to have laundry done daily, if needed. We also enjoyed our afternoon canapés, and having a butler at our disposal. On our particular ship, a nice perk would have been complimentary internet hotspots. The service was terrible on the JDV (had been fantastic on the Baroness, three years earlier, so it isn't the area that's the problem) and the ship had a limited number of hotspot devices available for rent. A large group of travel agents (on a FAM trip) snatched them up, leaving none for the remainder of the pax.
  13. I really enjoy the Uniworld product, but the rooms on these ships are small. They aren't going to make them bigger with these renovations. That's a concern for me. 150sf for a french balcony cabin is tight (not as tight as the 128sf on the Baroness, now the "B" though). It's disappointing they aren't building new, like their competitors. We are definitely looking at a variety of lines for our next cruise. Robin
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